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Archive 2010 · Annie Leibovitz Backdrop?
  
 
jitu757
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Annie Leibovitz Backdrop?


I have been looking for the backdrop that Annie uses like the two photos below:

http://i91.photobucket.com/albums/k320/jitu757/annie_leibovitz_gray_backdrop.jpg

http://i91.photobucket.com/albums/k320/jitu757/annie_leibovitz_gray_backdrop_2.jpg

Looks like primed cotton canvas and not linen because it looks smoother but I could be wrong. Anyone know where kind of backdrop it is and where I can find it?



Oct 18, 2010 at 03:55 PM
E-Vener
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Annie Leibovitz Backdrop?


Lots of places sell canvas backdrops. I am sure A.L.'s is custom made for this shoot.


Oct 18, 2010 at 05:06 PM
f1.2
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Annie Leibovitz Backdrop?


It looks very small for the intended purpose.


Oct 18, 2010 at 05:13 PM
jitu757
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Annie Leibovitz Backdrop?


E-Vener wrote:
Lots of places sell canvas backdrops. I am sure A.L.'s is custom made for this shoot.


I went to my local art supply store (Jerry's Artorama) and they carry 2 types of canvas cloth, primed and un-primed in cotton and linen. The primed are crazy expensive while un-primed are super cheap. I wasn't sure which to get but the people at the art store said that I should get the primed because if I paint over it and and roll it up or fold it then the paint won't crack or peel off. The reason I didn't get their primed canvas is because they would only sell me the entire roll and not by the yard which was weird because I was told over the phone that they sell canvas by the yard.

Anyway, I bought the un-primed canvas and after I got home I realized that I have some drop cloth from Lowe's that I had used when I painted our bedroom and the material looks the same and cost less.

So, back to your comment. Have you used canvas for any of your photoshoot? Did you paint them?



Oct 18, 2010 at 05:16 PM
E-Vener
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Annie Leibovitz Backdrop?


Yes I have used painted canvas backdrops, no I didn't paint them. Their advice on priming the canvas is right on the money however.


Oct 18, 2010 at 06:14 PM
Skarkowtsky
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Annie Leibovitz Backdrop?


Jitu,

Buy duck canvas right off the roll at your local art supply shop. Then head to the Oil Painting section and buy white Gesso. Get yourself a broad (4") Sable brush, and head home. Under these circumstances, a paint roller will do.

IMPORTANT When you Gesso a canvas it will shrink! In the context of a painting, this is a good thing because it pulls the canvas taught over the stretcher bars. My advice to you is to lay the canvas flat on the floor with heavy objects around its edges, then prime. THE CANVAS WILL ALSO STIFFEN.

Buy more than you think you'll need to compensate for the shrinkage. Then, it's crafty airbrush work, or if you're that good, spray paint. I could do it for you with spray paint, with ease. But, I'm in NY.

Good luck!

Edited on Oct 18, 2010 at 06:21 PM · View previous versions



Oct 18, 2010 at 06:19 PM
E-Vener
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Annie Leibovitz Backdrop?


f1.2 wrote:
It looks very small for the intended purpose.


Using a backdrop that is slightly smaller than the intended final photo area is an accepted painter's and photographic strategy. Including the rough area outside of the backdrop is away of keeping the subject from just floating in an undefined anonymous space by showing the artifice of the set up.

Off of the top of my head, other photographers I can think of who have used this framing strategy include Irving Penn, Lee Crum, & Arthur Meyerson.



Oct 18, 2010 at 06:21 PM
Skarkowtsky
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Annie Leibovitz Backdrop?


I just noticed that you've already purchased the canvas. Please try out the remainder of my steps, and let me know what you think.

P.S. If you're using household paint primer, the canvas might still shrink, as it's the nature of cotton.



Oct 18, 2010 at 06:25 PM
jitu757
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Annie Leibovitz Backdrop?


Skarkowtsky wrote:
Jitu,

Buy duck canvas right off the roll at your local art supply shop. Then head to the Oil Painting section and buy white Gesso. Get yourself a broad (4") Sable brush, and head home. Under these circumstances, a paint roller will do.

IMPORTANT When you Gesso a canvas it will shrink! In the context of a painting, this is a good thing because it pulls the canvas taught over the stretcher bars. My advice to you is to lay the canvas flat on the floor with heavy objects around its edges, then prime. THE CANVAS WILL ALSO STIFFEN.

Buy more than you
...Show more

Thanks a lot for the tip! However, I am not a painter and I don't have airbrush or spray paint so paint roller is the way to go for me and I would feel much more comfortable as to not mess up the canvas cloth.



Oct 18, 2010 at 06:27 PM
Skarkowtsky
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Annie Leibovitz Backdrop?


Looking at your posted image again, it seems that the gray tones were sprayed right over the raw canvas. So, that's also another option for you.



Edited on Oct 18, 2010 at 06:32 PM · View previous versions



Oct 18, 2010 at 06:28 PM
 

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jitu757
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Annie Leibovitz Backdrop?


Skarkowtsky wrote:
I just noticed that you've already purchased the canvas. Please try out the remainder of my steps, and let me know what you think.

P.S. If you're using household paint primer, the canvas might still shrink, as it's the nature of cotton.


I was thinking about using killz primer to prime the canvas laid flat on the floor and then roll the grayish paint with a roller. Looks like I will also need two shades of gray to get the burn in effect.



Oct 18, 2010 at 06:30 PM
Skarkowtsky
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Annie Leibovitz Backdrop?


Here's what you do to achieve the gradients without spraying light coats.
Use the roller to apply your primer coat. Then, use the 4" Sable brush, using the dry brush technique (apply paint to the brush, the wipe 95% of it off, onto a paper towel, the remaining 5% will seem like a "dry" coat of paint. This will allow you to make easy gradients from the lightest gray to the unpainted section in the center.

For painting the darker gradients, mix a few tones of gray, apply the darkest tone first, then the next shade and so on, blending them with a different, absolutely clean brush. You'll love the results.

Use acrylics, they move on the canvas like oil paint, but dry in an hour. So, you'll have time to make corrections.



Oct 18, 2010 at 06:32 PM
jitu757
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Annie Leibovitz Backdrop?


Skarkowtsky wrote:
Here's what you do to achieve the gradients without spraying light coats.
Use the roller to apply your primer coat. Then, use the 4" Sable brush, using the dry brush technique (apply paint to the brush, the wipe 95% of it off, onto a paper towel, the remaining 5% will seem like a "dry" coat of paint. This will allow you to make easy gradients from the lightest gray to the unpainted section in the center.

For painting the darker gradients, mix a few tones of gray, apply the darkest tone first, then the next shade and so on, blending them with
...Show more

Man I wish I can pay you to make me a nice gray backdrop =p



Oct 18, 2010 at 06:34 PM
Skarkowtsky
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Annie Leibovitz Backdrop?


Dude, I just sort of talked myself into painting this for you, haha. Seriously, I'll buy the supplies and scan the receipt. You just send me a Paypal for the supplies and shipping from NY to VA.


Oct 18, 2010 at 06:35 PM
Micky Bill
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Annie Leibovitz Backdrop?


Just like photography, painting a backdrop is a lot harder than it looks. I have done 4 or 5 in my old studio and only 1 or 2 were any good...often you'll get an area that looks great with smooth transitions and perfect tones but not the entire drop. And then another time it all falls into place perfectly--good luck!
I'm really not sure if it's better to plan out what you want or have a beer or two, crank up the iPod and have at it....
I did have a guy come in and do a 9' tall x 15' wide one on a wall with a paint sprayer, took him about an hour.

These were very popular a few years ago, some things always look good...

Check out http://www.schmidli.com/ for inspiration



Oct 18, 2010 at 06:46 PM
E-Vener
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Annie Leibovitz Backdrop?


P.S. If you're using household paint primer, the canvas might still shrink, as it's the nature of cotton.

That is why painters stretch canvas on frames before priming, it the reason for the difference in pre-primed vs non-primed canvas: the labor.



Oct 18, 2010 at 07:15 PM
Skarkowtsky
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Annie Leibovitz Backdrop?


correct. I hated stretching canvas in college, but priming it to completion was best.

Plus, the custom dimensions, and 2" depth off the wall (when hanging) is far superior to store-bought, 1/2" deep primed canvases.

If you cut 45 degree angles in the front of the stretcher bars, the canvas shrinks to an almost impenetrable shield when primed.

Pulls it super-tight.

With the exception of heading to the wood shop to cut stretchers, and the odors of oil medium, painting is still a bad-ass medium.



Oct 18, 2010 at 07:18 PM
RDKirk
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Annie Leibovitz Backdrop?


E-Vener wrote:
Using a backdrop that is slightly smaller than the intended final photo area is an accepted painter's and photographic strategy. Including the rough area outside of the backdrop is away of keeping the subject from just floating in an undefined anonymous space by showing the artifice of the set up.

Off of the top of my head, other photographers I can think of who have used this framing strategy include Irving Penn, Lee Crum, & Arthur Meyerson.


It seems to have gotten more popular as yet, and I'm even thinking of a project using it. The benefit IMO is that it separates and defines the subject clearly and yet keeps the subject within context.



Oct 19, 2010 at 12:11 PM
E-Vener
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · Annie Leibovitz Backdrop?


It seems to have gotten more popular as yet, and I'm even thinking of a project using it. The benefit IMO is that it separates and defines the subject clearly and yet keeps the subject within context.

James Balog has also used this compositional strategy as well, and very effectively: http://www.jamesbalog.com/portfolio/index.html



Oct 19, 2010 at 12:16 PM
jitu757
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · Annie Leibovitz Backdrop?


I also like this approach of showing the backdrop as part of the scene. It's to me less distracting.


Oct 19, 2010 at 01:26 PM
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